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tv   Charlie Rose  WHUT  October 8, 2012 11:00pm-12:00am EDT

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>> rose: welcome to the program. we begin this evening talking about mitt romney's foreign policy speech at b.m.i. earlier today. joining me, tom friedman. >> and i don't think this is the time when americans are looking after two exhausting and incredibly costly wars in the middle east to be making big foreign policy initiatives. now, that said, we do have v the arab spring and things happen on your watch, you've got to respond to them. and for my money what i would like to do is see us really start to rethink our whole way of relating to that part of the world and i would -- if i had my druthers-- i say this half seriously, half tongue in cheek-- i'd like to see arne duncan, secretary of education, be put in charge of middle east policy. because i think what we really need to be moving toward this
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there is a kind of race formula. >> rose: we continue looking at foreign policy issues in the campaign with david sanger of "new york times" and richard haass in the council on foreign relations. >> he basically laid out a conditional foreign policy. saying "look, the era where we give aid to you all and you act as you see it is over. we will work with you but only so long as if you meet us halfway, whether it's protecting our diplomatic missions, the way you treat women, girls and minorities, your foreign policy against israel and terrorism." i think that's an important statement and i think it's one that people in both parties should be able to support. >> he wants to portray president obama has an outlier in american foreign policy. in fact, one of the foreign policy advisors made the point that president obama in his view had departed from 70 years of bipartisan agreement, an agreement in which you would sort of focus on your allies
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first and not on engaging your adversaries. what i think was missing from the speech was any direct engagement with the question of the bush years and the bush doctrine. >> rose: we conclude with lisa randall, she is a theoretical physicist at harvard talking about new discoveries based on the higgs boson theory. >> one of the things that was so interesting about this discovery is it didn't have to look like this. there are other types of particles, other sectors that can make the higgs megaisim in work. the higgs boson is in some sense the simpleest possibility but it could be more complicated and that's one of the reasons that the experiments are now studying in detail the properties of the higgs boson, to find out is it really the simplest example that implement this is mechanism or is it something richer and deeper that sheds light on what goes beyond? >> rose: politics, foreign policy, and physics when we continue.
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, with
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governor romney delivered a major foreign policy speech earlier today at the virginia military institute. he highlighted areas of contrast with president obama. >> we can't support our friends and defeat our enemies in the middle east when our words are not backed up by deeds. when our defense spending is being arbitrarily and deeply cut. when we have no trade agenda to speak of and the perception of our strategy is not one of partnership but of passivity. the greater tragedy of it all is that we're missing an historic opportunity to win new friends who share our values in the middle east. >> rose: he also argued syrian rebels should be armed and addressed relations with israel. >> for the sake of peace we must make clear to iran through
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actions not just words that their nuclear pursuit will not be tolerated. i'll reaffirm our historic ties to israel and our abiding commitment to its security. the world must never see any daylight between our two nations. >> rose: the governor sought to capitalize on his debate performance. the next two debates will address global affairs. new polls show governor romney and president obama neck in neck in the race for president. joining me now from washington, tom friedman of the "new york times." >> great to be with you, charlie. thank you. >> rose: so tell me what you thought of the governor's speech today and did you learn more about his foreign policy positions from it? >> well, you know, i'm -- it's always good to see governor romney, any of the candidates, taking foreign policy seriously. and, you know, this speech certainly does that. but underlying it, charlie, i'd say are several criticisms i would have. one is there's this basically
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republican trope that romney has fallen back on which is kind of the old one: democrats are wimps basically, and republicans are the daddy party and they're tough and obama's basically a democrat of whim. >> rose: right. >> and the facts just don't bear it out. so that's kind of the underlying theme. also there's a -- i think just a straight out false statement that no trade agreements have been concluded under obama. i believe he signed three of them, including one with south korea. and although they were negotiated by previous administrations, all trade agreements are negotiated over long periods of time and actually required, i believe, a democratic president to get it through congress. so i think that was completely wrong. i think one of the points that romney makes which is a good point, a fair point, which is that i think we have to be very clear in terms of egypt and other arab awakening countries going forward about what are the principles under which we're going to want to continue to
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fund and support these governments. i think that's a very legitimate point. but on the one hand, he says -- you know, he blames obama for whatever tension there is in the u.s./israel relationship today and i would argue there's very little tension in the state-to-state relationship but a lot of tension between the prime minister of israel and the president of the united states. but all of that is entirely obama's fault. anything that's wrong with the u.s./israel relationship is obama's fault. the fact that the prime minister of israel has continued with a settlement policy which is extremely controversial in israel somehow comes no where into the equation. so we're supposed to believe on the one hand that america's supposed to lead the arab world from the front with one hand while adopting a policy toward israel that is more pro-israeli than anything any government in washington has articulated for a long time. how the two of them will go together i don't know. and for good measure, though-- and i think this is
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praiseworthy-- governor romney has called for a palestinian state and a two-state solution, something on other occasions he's been less than supportive of. so it's kind of a mishmash for me. that's how i see it. >> rose: a couple things. one, on syria, he seems to want to support the rebels with arms, at least. that's different. >> yeah. and here i think -- i think here there's room for debate. i think there is at least a legitimate question. as syria is evolving, charlie, what's clear is that the islamist groups, the pro-salafists, the pro-muslim brotherhood groups within the syrian opposition are clearly getting a lot of funding from qatar and the gulf, maybe saudi arabia, maybe directly maybe indirectly, we don't really know. yet the more secular and mainstream opposition forces who
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have been looking for support from the west haven't been getting arms or claim they're underarmed and underfunded. and there is an argument, i think, to be made-- and, again, i don't know the details on the ground, i'm not sure anybody really does-- that the united states should be looking for ways to very -- in a targeted way get arms to the people who do share our values so if and when this situation in syria tips it isn't the islamists and the people who have been getting money and arms from the gulf that entirely own the field. i think there's a legitimate argument to be had there. i don't know, though, exactly what the administration is doing. >> rose: and then there's the debate about what kind of arms because in some cases if you lose control of them you put some people with bad ideas and bad intent into a dangerous place. >> that's right. and, by the way, just to follow that up, charlie, we have a serious situation between turkey-- a nato ally-- and syria developing. they've actually now exchanged fire across their border. the turks are very concerned, also, who gets arms inside syria
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what happens after. so it's an enormously complex situation the issue romney raised is not illegitimate, it's all in the execution. >> rose: the question that remains for both administrations, is there a policy to look at the rise of the consequences of the arab spring and islamist governments? whether it's libya or syria or tunisia or egypt or other countries sdoshgs either of these candidates lay out a kind of strategic policy that's wise for the united states and a role to play that will be constructive? >> so foreign policy, you know, really, for the most part, has been largely absent from this campaign. i would argue the main reason for that, charlie, is that obama has i think conducted a quite efficient foreign policy. it hasn't been heroic but it's not a heroic age. i think hi he's basically kept the country safe and i don't think this is the time when americans are looking after two
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exhausting and incredibly costly wars in the middle east to be making big foreign policy initiatives. now, that said, we do have the arab spring and things happen on your watch, you've got to respond to them. and for my money, what i would like to do is see us really start to rethink our whole way of relating to that part of the world. >> rose: right. >> and i would -- if i had my druthers-- i say this half seriously half tongue in cheek-- i'd like to see arne duncan, the secretary of education, be put in charge of middle east policy. because i think what we really need to be moving toward there is a kind of race to the top formula similar to one we've used here. you lay out what are the main principles of american foreign policy in the middle east and that is i would say several. i think we need to be very clear that we think societies that educate their people up to the highest modern standards, that empower their women, that allow for pluralistic politics and religious tolerance and who
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control their own borders and extremist forces within them but within a certain rule of law, that countries that do that -- and countries that keep their international agreements, i.e., the treaty with israel, countries that do that do well in the modern world. and we should basically be saying "you live up to those principles and we will be happy to partner with you on your schools, on programs to promote literacy, on programs to empower women, on programs to build a stronger electoral politics." but i think we need to make very clear that have's there's a really important principle for me, charlie. the middle east only puts a smile on your face when it starts with them. that is, if we're cramming things down their throat that they don't really want it's not going to happen. and one of the things that i really believe is that the initiative's got to come from them. one thing we must not do, though and it's something we've done for, i think, 40 years, is kind
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of view it like we need them more than they need us. oh, no, if we actually make these demands on them for this kind of politics, this kind of treatment of women, this kind of education, they might go off on us, they might burn down our embassy or break the treaty with israel. i think we've got to stop being afraid of that and we have to be very clear, direct, and really speak loutly about what are our values, who we will support if you share those values. if you don't, god bless you, that's your own business. but these are our values and we aren't going to fund anymore regimes that don't support our values just for you to keep a treaty with israel that's in your self-interest or just because you claim you're collaring al qaeda. that doesn't work anymore. we tried that for 50 years. it hasn't ended well. >> rose: but should we also at the same time say there are these things we will not tolerate having to do with violence and certain aspects of trying to use violence against
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their own -- within their own nations? >> yeah, i mean, we understand you need to have security policy. you need to have -- but it's got to be done under some form of rule or law or moving towards some form of rule of law and an independent judiciary. >> rose: were you surprised about what he said about iraq? >> look, you know, that's an easy -- that's a really easy spit ball to hurl. you left iraq. everyone knows that that was an incredibly long drown out complicated negotiation in which in the end the parties inside iraq failed to come to an agreement on effect asking if united states to stay in iraq and giving the americans the legal cover they needed. i wish we had found a way to keep a residual force there, to bolster to regime there and help them push back on their enemies. but i -- and some might say obama didn't try hard enough. i wasn't privy to the negotiations.
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i thought they tried hard over months. it was very clear that the iraqis-- because of their own internal politics-- were having a very hard time getting their act together and inviting us to stay which is what they had to do in tend. >> rose: what would he do different than obama on iran? >> well, you know it's hard to tell. he says "i would tighten the sanctions." well, i don't know, the last time i picked up the "new york times" it said iran's currency fell almost 50% in the last month so the sanctions obama has got on iran was pretty tight. far tighter than bush had, his predecessor. and it's not clear where his red line is on iran, he says he will make sure they don't get a nuclear weapon. whether that means they cannot reprocess under civilian purposes is not clear to me. so wrong there's much daylight on iran policy. >> rose: back to your original point, it does seem like the governor wants to make the comparison without saying so
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specifically between barack obama and jimmy carter. he wants to sort of suggest and in the same way that they can feel a kinship with ronald reagan when he tried to project a tougher line and ronald reagan won. >> rose: see, charlie, listen, it may work in this campaign. i don't really think so. because what's going on in the arab world today, across the arab world, is a war of ideas. there's a huge civil war across several different fronts going on there today. let's look at what they are. you've got, first of all, the shiite/sunni civil war going on most flagrantly and violently in syria. and it's very much playing out there. at the same time in syria you do have a certain democratic authoritarian overlay to that conflict. at the same time you have a war within islam between the salfy groups and the more mainstream-- in their context-- muslim brotherhood groups. that's what libya was about, that that's what the conflict in
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egypt was about when it exploded around our embassy. so to blame obama for an internal civil war inside either the arab world or islam i think that's a bit much. that's like blaming george w. bush for 9/11. well, some people do. some people say he had a warning he should have been paying more attention to al qaeda. i suppose. if you want to make both claims then you're at least being consistent. but you can't say that 9/11 was a sucker punch when -- but we should have known everything about what was going to happen around the embassy in libya. doesn't wash. >> rose: you travel around the world, you were in china recently. what do the leaders of other countries think about america today? what do they want that they don't see? what do they see that they like? >> yeah. good question. hard to generalize, charlie. it would depend region to region. you know, right now it seems to me that -- i don't sense a big
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clamor around and about america today. >> rose: right. >> rose: >> if you look at the world, everyone's so internally focused charlie. china's internally focused on its problems, the european union is internally focused on its problems, russia's -- putin's trying to stay ahead of the democratic revolution in his own country. this is not a big foreign policy moment. in part -- in large part, i would argue, for two reasons. one is you're dealing with so many cases with failed, weak, or failing states which doesn't make for a great heroic foreign policy. it's hard to push on any of these leaders around the world to do anything hard because thee wherewithal to deliver. this is not the age of henry kissinger. think for a minute, charlie, when henry kissinger negotiated the 1993 disengagement agreements. in egypt he dealt with one overwhelmingly powerful egyptian pharaoh named anwar sadat.
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in syria he dealt with hafez assad and in israel he dealt with golda meyer who has such a majority in the israeli parliament no one had ever heard of the likud my noorty policy. so kissinger had to deliver three people. flash forward, you're hillary clinton now. you have to negotiate with a muslim brotherhood president of egypt who is in a -- just new to the job in a very frail and weak situation. you've got a revolution in syria, there's basically no one to deal with. you could deal with haefz but he can't deliver six blocks beyond his palace and in israel you have a minority government led baby by netanyahu that is an extreme government. it's michele bachmann 20 times over. so it's not exactly an environment conducive for great heroic foreign policy. mama, tell your daughters not to grow up to secretaries of state, not now. you want to be secretary of education, not secretary of state. >> rose: (laughs)
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so what ought to be the foreign policy debate in this campaign? >> well, i tell you what i've been focused on and i think it's about making our own country strong, charlie. making our own country an object of emulation. because that's the greatest thing about america. we have the power of emulation, people will follow and copy us in a way that china and russia can't. china has to bully or buy people and so does russia. and i think getting our own fiscal house in order, continuing to make our universities and school it is envy of the world which they once were and still should be and can be, making our industry and new products, that's the strongest thing we have right now because we live in such an interdependent world now charlie. it's so different. we live in a world where first of all our friend -- our friends collapsing hurts us so much more now. if greece falls out of the
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european union tomorrow and the e.u. and the euro zone collapses or has a real stutter step, your savings and mine will be affected. greece is a nato ally. we have a mutual defense treaty with greece but they can kill us today! at the same time our rivals falling is much more dangerous than our rivals rising. if china goes from 8% growth to 0% growth, charlie, we could both be off the air. but if china gets two more aircraft rriers, who cares? so in this interdependent world now and at the same time some knucklehead with a youtube video camera who gets a few people to make a crazy stupid anti-muslim video can have as big an impact on the world as a billion-dollar propaganda budget of a superpower. so the world is so much more interdependent now. my friend andy goldberg likes to say everything now is a joint venture.
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it's like we're in joint ventures with everybody. so to just stand up and give a speech and say obama's a wimp and if we just put our fist down and show people that we're tough and we have our way, really. okay, leverage -- foreign policy charlie, is all about leverage, okay? and when you owe china approaching $3, you don't have a lot of leverage. when they come over and they ask for things, you can't just tell them to take a hike. >> rose: tom friedman in washington. thank you. we'll be right back. stay with us. >> rose: we continue now with david sanger of the "new york times." his book is called "confront and conceal: obama's secret wars and surprising use of american power." with me here in new york, richard haass, he is president of the council on foreign relations. tell me what it is that -- what's the theme of mitt romney's foreign policy policy?
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>> well, i think what's fascinating about this speech, charlie, is that mitt romney has identified some of the weakest points in the obama approach to the world. and one of the weak zest that many who have been involved in the revolutions in the arab world wonder where america is. i think that the other side of the speech, on which it was weaker, is that he has not identified terribly well what he would do differently. from those clips you had a few points we can raise. he said that the syrians should be armed but he stopped short of saying that we should arm the syrians. in fact, that hasn't been the position he's taken. he has said that iran should be convinced by america's actions not its words that the u.s. is serious about keeping it from getting a nuclear weapon and he said, importantly, a nuclear weapons capability, that's a difference from president obama. >> rose: right. >> but he never mentioned those many things that president obama
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has done that i think the iranians are feeling. one of them is the strongest sanction it is u.s. has ever had much stronger than under president bush, and the other, of course, is olympic games, the sabotage operation, the cyber sabotage operation that president bush and president obama accelerated. so in these areas it's very difficult to sort of pick out what he would do differently other than a difference in tone. one big change, of course, was he said he would not cut the defense budget. it's the only sacrosanct part of the romney budget. but he didn't get very far into the question of what do you do about the old cold war systems we don't need and what new you would invest in. >> rose: how would you define the foreign policy proposals of governor romney in contrast to president obama? >> there's some differences that david articulated. the two that were probably most specific leaning forward more to
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arm the syrian opposition, i think that's actually a significant difference. >> rose: without promising the u.s. would do it. >> but clearly moving in that direction. essentially if you're not going to get involved military ourselves-- which he didn't promise to do, i think, quite rightly-- then i took it -- i don't see it as purely as you two. i think he would favor arming the syrians with fairly advanced weapons. anti-aircraft and anti-armor. >> rose: that's a distinction from the obama administration according to the -- >> right. i think the nuclear weapons capability line with iran. that seems to be different because the president's always talked about we're not going to contain an iran with nuclear weapons. mr. romney seems to be saying we're not even prepared to get that close. obviously the devil's in the details. >> rose: so governor romney's red line may be earlier than president obama's red line. >> exactly right. i actually thought one other thing was interesting which is he talked about our relationship with most of the arab countries. the egypts and others, the libyas. what he essentially laid out was called a conditional foreign
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policy. essentially saying, look, the era where we gave aid to you all and you act as you see fit is over. we will continue to work with you but only so long as you meet us halfway, whether it's the way you treat women, girls and minorities, your foreign policy more broadly against israel and terrorism. i think that's an important statement and one that people in both parties should be able to support. >> rose: and it would include both egypt and saudi arabia? >> that's an interesting question whether it goes to saudi arabia, bahrain. and, again, the devil is in the details and how we're going to do that but clearly i think it was aimed at egypt. >> rose: what about this idea of defense treaties and the idea of nuclear weapons systems? did he speak to that? >> he didn't as much. i mean, what he was trying to do here, charlie, was to sort of align himself with the israeli view that you needed to stop iran, as richard said, before it got to the capability. and i think here he could make--
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if he pursued it, a very persuasive argument because there are a lot of people even in the intelligence community, bob gates when he was secretary of defense used to make this point, who wonder whether you would ever know if iran took those last few steps when they got between basically having the fuel and making the weapon. we might only know in retrospect. but governor romney has not said exactly with he'd put that line, nor did the israelis. i thought that his sentence where he said "there should never be any daylight between the israelis and the united states" was a very interesting and important one. i think that the obama administration would say, look, if there was no daylight the israelis might well have taken military action by now and the u.s. would be sucked into it. the u.s. would have to join it. so there has been daylight, but the daylight in the obama administration's view has been intended to say to the israelis,
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"look, we're not at the point yet where they're about to get a bomb, there are other possibilities, including more sanctions and more sabotage." >> rose: prime minister netanyahu would welcome this speech? >> by and large yes. but there were some interesting statements that i'm not sure if the word would be "welcome." when governor romney talked about a two-state solution in the middle east and talked about a prosperous and secure independent palestinian state, that was interesting to me because given some of his previous comments people may have wondered whether he represented something of a departure and that to me was his way of saying look, i'm in the mainstream on important issues, i'm in the mainstream on the middle east peace process i want a two-state solution so there's no departure there despite what you may have thought about me. he's very supportive of defense spending, obviously, of nato, though his idea that nato allies are going to meet their spending goals is, shall we say, wildly optimistic which is another way of probably saying unrealistic.
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he wasn't clear exactly what the differences were with afghanistan, though, again, he didn't change the policy, we're still looking at something by the end of 2014. but if you're asking me about benjamin netanyahu in particular yeah, i think he'd like the you have to language about iran more than anything else. that's right now the prism through which israelis are judging a lot of international development. >> rose: the two things about governor romney on foreign policy that have gotten attention on this speech, one was what he said about russia and the other was what he said about china. did he add to that in any way today? >> very little. this was much more a speech about the middle east than it was a fleshed-out romney foreign policy. there was continued toughness towards russia. he had a nod in the direction of free trade which a lot of people were welcomed. very little, if anything, even about china. he mentioned latin america but mainly in passing. i don't think it's -- you could look at this as sort of, again, the romney doctrine or romney foreign policy speech. it was mainly a criticism of
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obama in the middle east. he ticked through about a half dozen areas where he disagreed. for example, lack of support for the iranian, green revolution, watching what's going on in syria. the complete withdrawal from iraq. and, again, he put forward a few areas where i think there are some policy departures but i think it's best judged as a middle east speech, not foreign policy. >> rose: david? >> charlie, on this point i thought what was interesting both in the speech and the briefing that the romney advisors gave to a group of us yesterday ahead of the speech was that he wants to portray president obama as an outliar in america foreign policy. in fact, one of the foreign policy advisors made the point that president obama in his view had departed from 70 years of bipartisan agreement, an agreement in which you sort of focus on your allies first and not on engaging your adversaries. what i think was missing from the speech was any direct engagement with the question of the bush years and the bush
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doctrine. for example, the governor made a case for a more activist role for the united states in the middle east. now, of course, that can cut two ways. we might be able to shape events or we might breed resentment. on the other hand, he never sort of said what his criteria would be about intervening. and iraq was obviously during the bush administration something that richard has written at great length on and written a great book about the most interesting example here. he didn't say whether his view of our interventions in the middle east would lead him to engage in the kind of iraq intervention that we had. he only really talked about iran so we don't know on the question of humanitarian interventions where he would go into syria. we don't know whether or not he would go back into iraq if it began to collapse in the ways
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that he was quite critical of. i think what's interesting is when they come out to brief us, there are a lot of divisions within the --. >> rose: ah! >> -- romney camp. so we didn't hear much from the sort of john bolton wing, the more neo-conservative group. we heard much more from the mainstream group. and then there are also a group of realists who have sort of -- you know, old foreign policy realists who have come in -- also been brought into the tent. we haven't heard as much from them. >> rose: who would that be. the transition from the national security group is being run by bob zell leg who used to be the president of the world bank. >> rose: and deputy secretary of state. >> and deputy secretary of state prior to that. he and mr. bolton frequently clashed. not surprisingly mr. bolton clashed with many others in the second term of the bush administration and the second term was very different from the first term of the bush administration. so what you're seeing happen in
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the romney campaign is that many of the old conflicts left unresolved as everybody left the white house on january 20, 2009 are being rekindled within the campaign. i'm not sure that governor romney has engaged with that rekindling yet because i'm not sure he's spent enough time with the foreign policy team from what they describe to me to really see the differences among his own advisors. >> rose: who has his ear? >> well, there's these people and there's others. i think more broadly there's three camps in the republican foreign policy firmament, what is excluded, which is the pat buchanan neoisolationist camp. then you have those tagged as neoconservatives, more comfortable with unilateral uses of force. they care an awful lot of what goes on inside of countries, whether they're democratic or not. then you have to traditionalist, when you mention bob zell leg, if governor romney becomes president romney, the real question becomes what's the balance between them and what will be his foreign policy philosophy. it doesn't have to be either or, there could be a hybrid but the question is one of the degree and balance and that's a
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legitimate question. we don't have the answer to it. >> rose: you know foreign leaders. what is their impression of president obama? and his policies? >> one, it's hard to generalize, not to punt on your question because different parts of the world they feel differently. and, indeed, lots of leaders, i'd almost say they're not thinking so much about us. i don't mean this that as a criticism, just an observation. people are preoccupied at home. we've probably entered a moment in history where the weight of the united states is less than it was. it's not that we're in decline. the centrifugal gorses in the world are such that our ability to control international developments is arguably less than it was. >> rose: where do you think we are in terms of the iranian mind david? since it's so easy to read. (laughter) >> yeah, so easy to read. i'd say i spent during the u.n. week i spent two hours at a tea that president ahmadinejad held for a number of book authors and i emerged from it more confused
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about where iran is today than i think i was when i went in. i think the iranians would like a cost-free way out and i reported last week on the details of an iranian offer, a nine-point plan in which basically the u.s. lifts all the sanctions and then at the end the iranians suspended the production of the fuel that you could turn into a bomb the fastest. this isn't going anywhere because the u.s. doesn't want to give up its leverage. >> rose: right. >> but what it does tell you is that these sanctions may finally be getting the attention of the iranian leadership we don't know whether it's getting to the point that they would actually begin to carve back on the nuclear program and that's going to be the big test. the iranians have basically made a clear they don't want to conduct any negotiations until the end of our presidential elections. >> rose: right. >> and who could blame them? because they wouldn't think that a deal president obama made would necessarily hold with mr. romney and vice versa.
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>> what's interesting, though, is two other things, the sanctions are kicking in. benjamin netanyahu when he spoke at the u.n., he gave us until next summer. they're saying israel is going to let this play out a bit longer. and given the pain the iranians are feeling i think the moment has come quickly after the election for the united states to test iran let's put forward not just privately but publicly the bush comprehensive offer saying here's what you're allowed to keep, here's what you must give up, here's the inspections you have to accept and we will find out whether the iranians are willing to make an agreement and compromise in a way that we can live with it or not. and if they're not, we can face very starkedly options of whether we would support a use of military force or were prepared to live with an iranian nuclear weapon. >> rose: this president said he's not prepared to live with an iranian nuclear -- >> or something close to it. we need to flush them out and the way to flush them out is
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make an offer and put it on the table and basically make the iranians explain to their own people, charlie, why they wouldn't accept a reasonable deal. i think these guys are feeling the pressure from the streets --. >> rose: the currency and all that. >> the currency has fallen 50%. ever since the green revolution a couple years ago these guys are vulnerable. we ought to test them while they're vulnerable. >> rose: is any back door stuff going on here? >> there are side talks that seem to be going on. there were some going on in new york during that u.n. session but i don't think anything of particular note but i think richard makes a superb point. you have to do this in public. if you do the private sipt diplomacy, the iranians can make a case that there is no offer on the table. in fact, over the weekend they denied my story about the nine-point plan which we've all seen just because they don't want to admit at this point to be negotiating in any way with the u.s. so it's got to be quite public. that said, we simply don't know
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whether the iranian leadership at this point is cohesive enough to make a decision. you know, they're heading toward their own presidential election, mr. ahmadinejad's term is running out the middle of next year. as richard said, the supreme leader has got to be feeling a little bit more heat. and seeming to give in to the americans might not be something they're ready to go do even with all the pain they're facing. >> rose: you agree that? i >> i do, but, again, let's test it. we may get an acceptable deal. if not, it's much easier to confront the stark alternatives after you've basically checked the box and said "we gave them a legitimate chance, we weren't out to humiliate them, we offered them something fair and reasonable." if they reject it we can explain to ourselves, we can explain to the world why it is perhaps we had to use military force. >> the other thing we don't know charlie, at this point is military force is certainly always an option on the table. what the president has shown is he would much prefer to use covert force because it's much harder for the iranians to
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retaliate against it. and so the big question out there is, is there another act or two or three in the covert efforts to undermine the program? and, you know, there certainly are other options out there that the president has not availed himself of. >> you mean stuxnet and all that stuff? >> that's right. they did a very big cyber effort for two years until it became public by virtue of the fact that the worm got free. but there are other things that are higher risk that the u.s. could do. >> rose: question of libya and the tragic death of ambassador stevens there. is that going to be an issue here? >> the short answer is yes. governor romney returned to it in his speech today. it adds to the sense in the general just of disquiet. if so many good things are supposedly happening in the middle east, why did this happen. so when bad things happen on your watch you're always blamed, fair or not. in this case the administration was slow to respond. the initial response talked about the video, seemed to
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almost want to go out of its way to deny the reality of terrorism. so, yeah, i think they've left themselves a little bit vulnerable but i wouldn't exaggerate it. these investigations are going to take a while to play out. but it is just a sense that, you know, it's one of the many reasons why the furnace brook parkway arab spring ought to be banned. >> rose: david? >> yeah, i think that's right and i think that the administration recognizes now that they reacted far too slowly. but i thought what was one of the strongest parts of the romney speech today was trying to put the killing of the ambassador and the three other americans in a broader context of saying, look, al qaeda and its associates are still out there in yemen and other places. and this was all part of an effort to take a bit of the sheen off of the obama argument that bin laden is dead to make you think that al qaeda is dead as well. and he was making the case those forces are still around. >> rose: well, is there some merit to that? >> absolutely.
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the old order in the middle east is essentially gone and in many places you have governments that lack capacity and in some cases they last the will. al qaeda and groups like it --. >> rose: and governing experience. >> exactly. groups like al qaeda whether they're inspired or helped one way or another fill the space. they go like magnets to places like syria. this is way the jihadis demonstrate their bona fides. so we have to this new middle east where you have governments that are willing or un-- unwilling or unable to clamp down, the next phase of the middle east could be rougher than the last five or ten years. we could in some ways find ourselves back to where we were ten years ago given a growing threat, even though the good news is we're more capable than we were at pushing back. >> rose: thank you. great to have you, richard haass. david, thank you very much. >> thank you, charlie. >> thanks, charlie. >> rose: back in a moment. stay with us. >>. >> rose: lisa randall is here, she is a particle theorist and cosmologist at harvard university where she received
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her ph.d. and also teaches. she tackles some of the biggest puzzles in physics and translates abstract ideas. last july the world witnessed what may be the most important scientific discovery of this century. the experiments of the large had ron collider in geneva revealed a new subatomic particle closely resembling the long sought higgs boson. this breakthrough in understanding the origins of mass is the subject of her new, book "higgs discovery: the power of empty space." as always, i'm pleased to have her back at this table. welcome. >> thank you. >> rose: this is an, book. what does that mean "e-book"? >> it's an interesting experiment. i wrote "knocking on heaven's door" and --. >> rose: it's coming back. paper back. >> that's right. and since then they had this discovery and i was excited but also frustrated because i was away and i wanted to tell people what it meant. like, i was reading the news stories and aa lot of people
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asked a lot of questions so i just thought to write a short, book as an opportunity to answer those questions. not to tell everything, that's in the book. >> rose: but it's good to review exactly why this is important. exactly what they discovered and exactly where they're going now. >> so one thing is we don't yet know exactly what they've discovered and that's the answer to the question of where they're going now. but let's backtrack and talk about what they're looking for. so basically -- so it's important in the sense that it's important for particle physicistss. it won't make a difference in your daily life-- at least not tomorrow. but what it's telling us is where elementary particles, the fundamental building blocks of matter, acquired their mass. how did they acquire their mass? it sounds like a really strange concept because you think particles had masss from the get-go. but it turns out your theory will be inconsistent. you will make nonsensical predictions. you need a mechanism, some way in there these particles acquire their masses. and what the higgs boson does, it tells you that the mechanism
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called the higgs mechanism is correct. it tells you that this is how elementary particles acquire their masses. but you want to know what was there that gave them that -- what induce it had higgs mechanism in the first place. you know, we're not just looking to open as russian doll and just find the little elements. we're looking for the forces. what is the nature of forces. what is the nature of physics? >> rose: and that's what what the higgs boson explains? what are the forces. >> well, in some sense it induces a new type of force but what it's really doing is completing the standard model. the standard model -- in the standard model we assume particles acquired their masses through this higgs mechanism but there was a clearly a missing ingredient. there had to be something responsible for it. so the higgs boson is sort of the completion. and one of the things that was so interesting about this discovery is it didn't have to look like this. there are other types of particles, other sectors that can make the higgs mechanism
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work. the higgs boson is in some sense the simplest possibility. but it could be more complicated and that's one of the reasons the experiments are now studying in detail propertys of the higgs boson to find out is it really the simplest example that implement this is mechanism or is it something richer and deeper that sheds light on what goes beyond? >> rose: do you consider it the greatest discovery in the 21st century? >> well, as far as i know --. >> rose: i'll say in the a different way. if not this, what would it be? >> well, you know, it could in the future as far as particle physics goes there's a lot of reasons to think the higgs boson is not the end of the story. >> rose: ah! so where do we go from here! >> exactly. so the higgs boson -- it tells you particles acquire masses but it doesn't tell you why those masses are what they are. and it turns out the answer to that question -- it's ha hard question to answer and seems to indicate some very rich deeper theories that underfly standard
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model. such as an extension of the similar trees of space and time into the quantum regime or even an extra dimension of space, something we've talked about. it seems that could be something deep and rich about the nature of space or what's going on at those scales and this's also what the large had ron collider is trying to find. >> rose: where does this take us? >> on the one hand it's gratifyed to see this theory that was proposed is correct and to have a particle to study. for the experimenters, this is an amazing thing. they built this experiment and it was working fantastically but to have a particle that you can measure its properties and see what's going on. but unfortunately, so far, it looks a lot like what -- exactly what was predicted. now it doesn't look exactly like it. there were some properties that deviate slightly and it's those deviations that give rich clues as to how to go beyond it. if it looks exactly like a standard model higgs boson that still tells us something. of course we're looking for
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clues of what lies beyond. >> rose: now, were there people who hoped it would not be proven true or discovered? >> well, there was a lot of people -- it's funny because, you know, i live in these two worlds and from the physics community it was like "that would be so interesting if it didn't exist, that would be such a deep theory." and i was like i don't think that would be great if we built this collider and it doesn't find the higgs boson. but there is a sense in which when things are mysteries that's our line of business. the questions that are answered, it's very nice we can teach them but what we do with our research is answer the questions that we don't yet know the answers to. so it's things that don't seem to fit that are the most intriguing to us. >> rose: does it affect your work looking for extra dimensions or defining extra dimensions? >> in a sense -- first of all i should be clear that i'm a theorist so i'm just talking to experimenters about what they should look for. if it had looked very different, it would probably have said that the extra dimensional theory was not correct. so this is definitely consistent with that. >> rose: ah!
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>> it's interesting --. >> rose: so if this were disproved it would have been bad news for you? >> there were versions of it that -- but it wouldn't have been the simplest ways to go ahead and it's interesting because there's another theory called supersymmetry, this is this extension of the symmetrys of space and time where every particle gets paired with another. and actually from the point of view of supersymmetry this mass is actually a very interesting mass. so it's not just finding the particles but measuring its properties that gives you clues. and, in fact, in supersymmetry you have a range of masses that you predict and this is not where people really expected to find it. so, again, it's giving you clues that tell you if that theory is right it better accommodate this. >> rose: why is all this important? >> basically one of the reasons i really do think it's important is because you make progress. we really do get a better understanding of the world we experience, the world we see. and, you know, when we say we see the world, you know, a vision is often wrong.
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i mean, it's deceiving. so the idea that you can actually make measurements and make rigorous predictions that tell you really what underlies it all, that mass does describe it, that you can use mass to put it together, it's not saying we understand the answers to all questions but it is amazing to know what's at the heart of matter. the quantum mechanics is true at the level of an atom, that's an amazing thing. again, for our daily lives, does it matter that we understand that? not necessarily. but it's such a rich thing that adds to our understanding of the world. and this is just going that step further. of course we have a lot of big questions but we have to start with the things we can measure. the things you can measure tell you the root. i can make a whole bunch of predictions, i work on theories that make contradictory predictions. the whole point is that these experiments are so challenging and we want them to do as much
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as they can so what we're trying to do is in some sense guess based on what we've seen and what theories make it out because of what's there. >> rose: this there came a year or so ago this theory that perhaps there was something faster than the speed of light which was then disproved. >> right, right. so in terms of fundamental shift like that, it's unlikely that it will happen. what is more likely to happen or at least is possible is somehow our understanding of what's in the universe could change. such as suppose it turns out there's an extra dimension of space, that would be a remarkable edition. >> rose: why would that be a remarkable dimension? >> well, it's just something amazing to contemplate about our universe. and the fact that it could have experimental consequences that we can observe. and, again, everyone wants you to say what will it turn in tomorrow-to-tomorrow. quantum mechanics seem like about the most abstract thing we could have but it lead to the
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semiconductor revolution and the electronics revolution. so it's not that i can tell you this is going to change your life in this way but i do think just to understand the universe and inspiring people to want to understand the universe makes us reach for greater heights. >> rose: okay, suppose there was something faster than the speed of light. suppose that had been true. >> yes. >> rose: what would be the repercussions of that? >> well, the notion of causality would change. in other words, i -- that goes along with the fact that i can tell you this really happens now and that causes something later on. if that wasn't true, our whole way of thinking would just be wrong and it is interesting. i mean, we think in terms of predictions, we think in terms of something happens now and i can predict what happens in the future. if you have something faster than the speed of light that whole concept would go away and it's hard to think about. there's so many movies with time travel --. >> rose: that that's what i was thinking. >> and they never make sense.
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they don't make sense because it's so hard to make sense of this. >> rose: but if there was something faster than the speed of light -- time travel might make sense? >> if you had something faster than speed of light you could have time travel. and the fact that you could have time travel almost tells you that it's really unlikely because it's so -- it's so hard to come up with a consistent version of that. in fact, you can have imn principle have it, but the idea that we can transition into that there's -- there's no way to make sense of that universe. >> rose: i could never do this because i could never get my brain around these ideas. >> well, no one can. i mean, that's what's so interesting is that the ideas that you can get your brain around eventually are ones that make sense. >> rose: you also have experiments and been engaged in in terms of music and arts and you had something that you did something with in pompidou at the pompidou in paris. what was that? >> i was lucky, when i wrote my
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first book "warp passages" producer contacted me and a lot of people contacted me but this one struck me as interesting. he wanted to write what he called an opera that would really use physics and one of the interesting ideas he had was that when you see a lot of things, you don't see them thinking about the thing itself. you see a writer busy at a typewriter or a scientist thinking hard but what about having the science? and for him as a composer it was exciting because he wanted his music to evolve knowing about this. it represent this is extra dimension. so he does electronic music to have something that parallels that. for me i tried to explain all these complicated threads that led us to where we were today and the idea of having these many different voices, the voices of people and the visuals i realized what a rich forum
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opera is. we think of it as in the past but it's such a rich way to convey the sense of an idea, what's going on spchlt and the idea that it was going to premier at the pompidou center made it that much more attractive. >> are there similarities and scientific creativity and artistic creative any >> you know, there really are in many ways and i'm always intrigued by how a lot of the good people in the arts are problem solvers the same way they're problem solvers, they're trying to get from one point to another and they're trying to find the route to do it. in fact, a work together with an artist on an art show and it's interesting talking about problem solving there is a big difference which is that a scientists can be proven wrong. no matter how great your ideas and nice the connection looks if the experiment doesn't agree with it, it's out the window. in terms of the thought processes and the teak neks you're using, what you're good at, an artist is going to have
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very different skills than someone working at computers or with math. but the idea -- but sort of in a more broad sense in termsing you don't have all the answers, you believe there's something missing that you're trying to fill in and that desire to make the connections is something that both share. >> rose: good to see you. >> thank you. >> rose: lisa randall, he paper back is out, the title is "knocking on heaven's door." this is called "higgs discovery, the power of empty space" an e-book. thank you again. >> thank you. >> rose: thank you for joining us. see you next time. captioning sponsored by rose communications captioned by media access group at wgbh
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